This post was originally published on March 10, 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend. They stand by our side through thick and thin. However, some dogs have a history of making friends with whoever has treats.

So, this raises a serious question: Will your dog prevent a burglary?

Some people purchase a dog with the assumption it will help guard their home. But, does your dog really have what it takes to prevent a burglary and protect your family from unwarranted guests?

Yes and no. Here’s why.

Dogs Deter (Some) Burglars

Burglars like to target homes that are easy to access, and a dog can be the first line of defense to deterring theft.

An Idaho news station asked 86 burglars how they break in to homes and learned that most would avoid houses with loud, large dogs.

The type of dog you have will increase or decrease how effective they are as a deterrent. The bigger the dog, the bigger the deterrent. This is not to say smaller dogs can’t hold their own; however, would you be more intimidated by a German Shepherd or a Shih Tzu?

A Dog’s Protection Only Goes So Far

The warning signs of a dog on the property may deter some intruders, but this doesn’t work on all burglars. Savvy or brash criminals may not be fazed by the presence of a dog and might try to distract them.

In some cases, burglars will bring treats to preoccupy the dog while they ransack the house. Others may use force and harm your animal.

When it comes to preventing a burglary, your dog’s bite may not live up to its bark. But, with proper and thorough training, you can teach your dog the skills needed to effectively protect your home and belongings.

To mold your pet into a guard dog:

  • Teach your dog basic obedience skills.
  • Establish yourself as the master.
  • Properly socialize the dog so that he or she can identify normal vs. abnormal behavior.
  • Train your dog to start or cease barking upon command.
  • Walk your dog on the perimeter of your property regularly to establish territory.

While training may improve your pet’s behavior, a dog’s protection can only go so far.

Supplement with a Home Security System

If you're set on using a guard dog to protect your home, make his or her job a little easier and install a security system. While there are a few different types of security systems, consider solutions that include:

With these security solutions, you can rest assured knowing your home and family is protected from dog-loving burglars.